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Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is defined as the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment. Physical abuse may include such acts of violence as striking (with or without an object), hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, and burning. In addition, the inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints, force-feeding, and physical punishment of any kind are also examples of physical abuse.

Signs and symptoms of physical abuse include:

  • Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks
  • Bone fractures, broken bones, and skull fractures
  • Open wounds, cuts, punctures
  • Untreated injuries in various stages of healing
  • Sprains, dislocations, and internal injuries/bleedings
  • Broken eyeglasses/frames
  • Signs of being restrained
  • Laboratory findings of medication overdose or under utilization of prescribed drugs
  • An elder/dependent adult's report of being hit, slapped, kicked, or mistreated
  • An elder/dependent adult's sudden change in behavior
  • A caregiver's refusal to allow visitors to see an elder/dependent adult alone
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